A Tuba to Cuba

Movie Information

Just in time for Mardi Gras, this music doc on the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joyously celebrates the spirit of New Orleans and its cultural cousins across the Gulf of Mexico.
Genre: Documentary
Director: T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch
Starring: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Win Butler, Régine Chassagne
Rated: NR

Just in time for Mardi Gras, A Tuba to Cuba joyously celebrates the spirit of New Orleans and its cultural cousins across the Gulf of Mexico.

The vibrant feature by veteran music-doc helmer Danny Clinch (Pearl Jam: Let’s Play Two) and editor-turned-director T.G. Herrington (The Mechanic) follows the revered Preservation Hall Jazz Band on its long-awaited trip to Havana, employing zippy editing to help capture the excitement felt by the two countries’ musicians as they collaborate.

Powerful as these lively encounters are, the filmmakers also know when to let their cameras roll and chronicle the deep human connections experienced by certain parties in quieter moments, especially those wrought with complex emotions tied to the African diaspora.

Were it not for the head-scratching repetition of returning to the band’s otherwise engaging creative director, Ben Jaffe — son of Preservation Hall’s founders — and his barely varying statement on how New Orleans and Cuban musicians have so much in common, the film might rank in the upper echelon of recent music documentaries.

Even with that message pounded home, Jaffe and his long, frizzy locks remain endearing, spirited guides and make A Tuba to Cuba something close to a must-see.

Starts March 1 at Grail Moviehouse

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA).

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.